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From Jim Crow to Jay-ZRace, Rap, and the Performance of Masculinity$
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Miles White

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036620

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036620.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
From Jim Crow to Jay-Z

Miles White

University of Illinois Press

This introductory chapter reconsiders African American music and culture in the gendered context, however, it situates the discussion within masculinity and male performance. Rather than neglect women's excluded histories, this chapter argues that gender studies cannot or should not preclude the study of men if only to interrogate presumptions of male privilege and the kinds of constructions of masculinity that are herein critiqued. It makes a number of connections between masculinity and race as kinds of ritualized performance that have particular types of aesthetic markers and that depend upon certain histories and cultural memories. Here, masculinity as well as racial performance—of blackness and of whiteness—are interrogated in the context of one of the most commercially and culturally important musical styles of the last quarter century.

Keywords:   masculinity, racialized performance, gender studies, male privilege, masculinity, African American culture, African American music, hip-hop, blackness, whiteness

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